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January 21, 2004

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Police Magazine Featured Articles
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Denver airport police caught loafing on the job

Denver's former police chief and nine of the officers he supervised at Denver International Airport were reassigned after an undercover television investigation showed the officers loafing on the job.

Denver Police Chief Gerry Whitman said this is the beginning of an extensive internal affairs investigation that will examine airport security records, videotapes and police paperwork.

The investigation comes after a local news station's two-month investigation that caught on video police officers spending as long as four hours at a time relaxing in an airport lounge used by airport paramedics. The lounge is equipped with a television, beds, a sofa and chairs.

Police Chief Whitman said this was unacceptable, especially considering that some officers were spending half of their eight-hour shifts away from their duties.

The decision on whether to seek formal discipline against officers probably will not be made for weeks or months, he said.

Whitman said the police department launched an internal affairs investigation into the DIA situation on Jan. 24, after hearing of the News4 surveillance. Ten internal affairs investigators have been gathering statements from officers and paramedics.

Whitman also met with the deputy manager of airport operations and the acting federal security manager of the FAA to assure them that all security measures at the airport were in place.

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